Long before she became the Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer was a regular teenage girl who was not at all prepared for all the ways her life was about to change. In fact, Princess Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton says she told him on the day she became engaged to Prince Charles, that she “literally had one long dress, one silk shirt, one smart pair of shoes, and that was it." She and her mother "had to go out and buy six of everything.” And while Princess Diana quickly proved she could get the hang of the multiple outfit changes a day that her new royal life required, her penchant for classically understated yet functional outfits reads quite current. On Sunday, Tory Burch took to the Brooklyn Museum to prove just that with her spring 2020 collection.
“I took my cue from Diana Spencer, whom I have been fascinated with since I was young,” Burch wrote in a blog post on her website. “Clearly, she was a style icon, but I loved her fearlessness, her intelligence and, most of all, her humanity. She left a legacy of giving back that embodies what I admire most, one that has been instilled in our Foundation and company since the beginning,” she continued. “This collection brings together English garden florals, a restrained volume and my own take on the Eighties.”
The location was meaningful to Burch, too. In a blog post breaking down how she spent the day of her fashion show, she called the Brooklyn Museum one of the most beautiful spots in the entire city. “The architecture feels European but the neighbourhood is distinctly New York.”
What proceeded down the runway was Burch's take on that era's style of dressing. Think strapless prom-style short gowns styled with button-down shirts under, acetone pussy bow blouses, oversized silky tops, boldly patterned trousers, elevated pantsuits, and of course, most of the models wore trainers.
Burch's latest offering was a departure from what we've come to expect from the brand. Though Burch's love for floral frocks was evident in autumn 2019, the collection as a whole seemed much more rigid with its double-breasted tweed coats and structured dresses, completed with prim ladylike bags.
Spring 2019 also had a decidedly less cool girl vibe (compared to spring 2020) with its fringed tunics, necklines resembling a men's sailor necktie. To be fair, Burch’s inspiration for that collection was not an actual person but the memories of her parents' travel excursions. And while there were matching patterned separates and bright colours, they were the sort of pieces one would wear to lounge in at a Mediterranean resort whereas spring 2020 was a new way of inject colour into one's daily life.
Now, if only the '80s were this chic.